Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 21 - People I've met in Kinburn

I left Renfrew at and blasted through 51 km by .     
Now for the best part.....I met three people (2 women and a man) on bikes having a break in the little village of Kinburn, Ontario.  I thought it would be a good idea to stop and pass out flyers.  After introducing what I was doing, the man immediately said, careful - they are both nurses.  Well, knowing that I now had a relevant audience, I went into my usual dialogue about what I have been through and what I believe to be so terribly wrong with the healthcare system.  I included that I really do not blame the individual people, my issue is directed at those that control and manipulate the system from the inside, while having little frontline knowledge of what a lot of people are going through.
Now, I am not going to point a finger at all of what I got back but I will say is that there were several comments that to me were not appropriate.  What I will quote is a comment made by one of the nurses.  She asked me what Lyme disease was, then said she has heard of it, but doesn't really understand anything about it. 
Hello people of Ontario.................this is what I have been living for over 20 years of my life.  Being told I am crazy, that there must be a history of mental illness in my family, that the pain is all in my head, that I must have a very low tolerance to pain, that I am either a drug addict or a drug pusher, or that I am trying to scam an insurance company for a long-term disability claim.  Yet, as I cycle through Kinburn, Ontario, I have a registered nurse asking me what Lyme disease is...........there must be something wrong with me...............I actually give a shit about the people that continue to suffer from this disease and I continue to demand that our healthcare system wakes up and helps prevent anyone else from having to live the life of hell that I and my family have lived for over 21 years.
And finally, ladies - nurses - please buy a book, go online, whatever, at least show me the respect to find out about Lyme, so you may help others that suffer with this debilitating disease.
Evening - I didn't realize how emotional Ottawa would mean until I was spinning into the city this afternoon.  5 weeks ago today I met some incredibly high spirited people on Parliament Hill, all closely affected by Lyme.  As I cycled only a few kilometers away from my goal, I stopped and checked my Blackberry.  To my surprise, I was met with an email from Jessica Taliana from The Laser Clinic in Toronto.  Jessica has a 16 year old daughter with Lyme that the Ontario medical denial machine makes travel to the US for treatment.  Jessica also included a donation of $2,000 to Cycle For Lyme.  For this I, 7 hours later, remain speechless (and those who know me know that doesn't happen often).  Thank you so very much!
If you have seen the video on the blog, you know my left knee pulled off 96 plus kilometers today to get me to the Hill.  To be able to complete 1,340 plus kilometers in 21 days is no match to what my neighbour's 21-year-old-son Travis can do in his sleep on his bike, but for a 47 year old geezer that has slept for the better part of a decade, I impressed myself today.  And most importantly, I really have to thank all my family, friends, and all others that helped me get this far.  It was a most rewarding day.
My conversation with Jessica tonight focused on a lot of things negative about our healthcare system.  I think my resolve is that we, and I mean a lot of we, need to continue to push the message that Lyme is here and its not going away.  The truth is that too many doctors who genuinely would like to treat patients for Lyme, live in fear of being reprimanded for doing what those in authority don't want to acknowledge - that Lyme is real and it is here to stay. 
I believe that a lot of us together can change this outcome. 
And thank you to all who keep emailing that I do not get a chance to respond to - and the car horns and hands I see everyday - it gives such a boost

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